A Moment of Science

Pumpkin Skin May Prevent Germs

Could pumpkins help prevent infections and disease? A new study says, "Yes!"

Close up of the top half of a pumpkin

Photo: Teo (flickr)

Pumpkins have been used in folk tales to cure diseases.

Pumpkin skin could prevent microbes that cause yeast infections in adults and infants every year, according to a new study.

Researchers, Kyung-Soo Hahm and Yoonkyung Park, noted that some disease-causing microbes are becoming resistant to existing antibiotics.

Scientists worldwide are searching for new antibiotics and may be considering pumpkins. Pumpkins have long been used in folk medicine and might have some antibiotic effects.

Results

The scientists studied proteins from pumpkin rinds to see if it inhibited the growth of microbes. One protein did have powerful effects with no toxic side effects.

The study states that this protein may be used for future medicines and treatments. The experiment also found that the protein stopped the growth of fungi that attack plant crops which means it could be used as an agricultural fungicide.

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Margaret Aprison

Margaret is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Telecommunications and a minor in Psychology. The daughter of two scientists, Margaret has been surrounded by the subject her entire life. She enjoys social media, writing, television, and, of course, science!

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